Last weekend was quite busy for me, as I baked two cakes from Scharffen Berger’s Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate. To those of you who follow or actually look at my Flickr photos, I did attend to their luncheon several weeks ago. I followed up with Scharffen Berger and they were generous to send me two cake recipes worth of chocolate. Awesome…
Why the hell I want to bake in the hot, humid New York City weather? It’s for the sake of my brother’s 22nd birthday and my mom’s congratulatory cake(s) for being done and over with cancer. (My mom had her last planned surgery about 3 weeks ago, reversing her ileostomy. All is well now after the minor complications.)
On Saturday, I started to bake and melt the 99% unsweetened chocolate starting with That Chocolate Cake‘s frosting just because it’s really hot and humid that weekend that I know it’ll take a long time for the frosting to cool.
What’s surprising to me was how easy it was to make the batter. You measure and dump all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, mix it with a large whisk or use your mixer (or if you want to do the tedious way by sifting), and add your liquids. To the fat-phobes out there, there’s no butter in this cake! Just whole milk (admittedly I used 2%), canola oil (in the cake batter) and heavy cream (frosting) were the three fats.
After sucking up to the heat while the two layer cakes were baking, cooling, thankfully, I didn’t burn them. I refrigerated my frosting so it’ll become stiffer and I can whip it up so make it easier to deal with in the heat. I’m not much of a cake decorator hence the simplicity of the design. I don’t think I have a steady hand to pipe letters, so I didn’t want to try now and make my brother’s birthday cake look ugly.
The cake was incredibly chocolate-y without being overtly sweet. You get the fine crumbed, velvety, barely sweetened cake that’s gently sweetened by the dark, creamy, chocolate-y frosting. Everyone in my family loved it. I even gave a chunk to Helen the past Monday and she munched on it like a 3-year old, smearing the chocolate frosting all over her mouth and chin!
As for my mom’s Almond Chocolate Cakes, the actual recipe called for the cakes to be baked in a baking sheet. I just took the liberty of doing things and used mini springform pans. It changed the baking time, a given due to the depth of the pans, and it was a pain to get these babies out. The sticky nature of cake was from the almond paste that’s in the batter even though there’s quite a bit of butter in this cake and I have buttered my pans.
After gently prying out the cakes from the pan, they don’t look as great as my brother’s birthday cake (the one mentioned above) even after coating it in a chocolate glaze but at least the cake was ridiculously moist, and chewy (from the almond paste) and had such a wonderful almond flavor peaking through the chocolate-y goodness. My parents were particularly enamored by this cake. For you gluten-intolerant readers, this is your cake.
I can’t post up the recipes since I used them without much adaptation. Sorry.
**UPDATE (9/16/2009): I’m no longer e-mailing the recipes.**